The fans of Guns N’ Roses will probably be really excited when they see the label of this article, but if we are being honest, this band and octave have nothing to do with each other. It would be more likely for Slash to come up with an overdrive or even distortion, but it is really surprising to see him collaborating with MXR in order to manufacture the fuzzed up octave. That is probably due to his recent pieces where he utilizes these two more frequently. Either way, I am sure these small details are of minor importance. It goes without saying that Slash has chosen the perfect brand to team up with, as we all know MXR can always deliver whatever it chooses to bring to reality. SF01 Octave Fuzz expresses everything they had in mind and displays character with its grungy design and versatile sound. It is quite easy to drown in its essence, so make sure you can find your way out. Whether you are into the music from Slash or Guns N’ Roses or not, I think this unique piece of equipment is worth checking out. If you are interested in its juicy details, then stay with me and let’s rock this article together!
As I have mentioned above, MXR SF01 Octave Fuzz is a representation of everything the brand and Slash believe in. On one hand it has the quality that is expected from this renowned manufacturer, and on the other hand it has certain sonic features that will immediately remind you of Slash himself. This fella has very interesting design: black and brown colors are mixed together in a way that creates the “worn-out” look, while the center part of the unit has musician’s prominent logo. The shell is durable, of course, and will last you through years of vigorous utilization. It has a battery compartment on the bottom part, which is made out of hard plastic and will not break easily either. While we are on the subject, SF01 Octave Fuzz takes a single 9V battery and an adapter, so you can choose whichever you prefer. Moving on to the circuit itself, here we have an all-analog beast. It can create fuzz and mix it together with an octave up or down. You have the possibility to utilize sub octave alone or with fuzz itself, which is amazing if you are someone who enjoys clean octaves from time to time. In addition, this baby has two footswitches that make the whole process way more convenient. One of them activates the pedal, while the other triggers octave up. This way you can easily employ this unit on stage and control the effects on the fly. Keep in mind that SF01 Octave Fuzz is a sort of a unit that does not know where to stop. It shifts between different sounds interminably and can get really crazy in certain settings. But you still have enough power to tame the beast and force it to obey your desires without any objection. Don’t you think that this feature-laden package deserves your attention? I most certainly do.
When you look at the control panel, you see just the perfect amount of knobs and switches. Your soul gets satisfied with the picture and you immediately start imagining all the things you will do with your new and exciting pedal. If MXR had chosen to include only external controls, this thing would still have been pretty meticulous one. But it chose to be extra and included couple more switches under the hood. To make sure you know exactly what we are dealing with here, we shall discuss all the controls in depth.
The first thing you will find on the outside is Volume. When the Sub Into Fuzz mode is disengaged, it alters the level of the unaffected signal. But when it is engaged, this knob determines the volume of the main fuzz. Tone equalizes main fuzz, while Fuzz controls its intensity. Sub Octave modifies the volume of the octave down voicing, Octave Up does the same thing for fuzzy octave up sounds, while Sub Into Fuzz triggers main fuzz.
Moving to the interior we have two switches: Gain lets you control the intensity of the Octave Up Fuzz and make it more powerful; Tone enables you to modify the EQ of Octave Up Fuzz. As you can see, the functions behind each knob are as clear as day and will not cause any trouble mid-performance.
The sound of SF01 Octave Fuzz is something that is taking things really seriously. It knows the job it has and performs accordingly. Keep in mind that it is not exactly polyphonic so you should definitely try to emit simpler notes for better tracking. Sub octave sounds are beefy whether they are clean or fuzzy. The ability to choose between the two is amazing as well, since you have way more options on hand. Octave up tones are piercing, gnarly and fuzzy – they make sure they are heard from anywhere. This is sort of the pedal that will force you to utilize the given EQs quite a bit, since not everyone likes those higher spikes. But those who do will simply sit down and enjoy everything this baby has to offer. SF01 Octave Fuzz has accentuated mid-range and stands out in the mix regardless of the mayhem in the band. This one is for those who want to be in the center of attention – wallflowers can look elsewhere.
All in all, MXR SF01 Octave Fuzz is definitely one of the best options if you are looking for a fuzzy octave effect. It can replicate the character of Octavia and the fuzz itself will remind you of our beloved Muff as well. It has ample sounds to choose from and lets you taste it all without too much effort. You just need to take your time, see what settings work for you and turn this monster into an obedient pet (though it will still turn to its original nature from time to time). Good luck!
Click here to view more from 10 Best Octave Pedals.